Navigating Mortgage Foreclosure Matters in Oklahoma

Mortgage foreclosure can be a stressful process both for lenders seeking to recover their investments and for borrowers facing the loss of their properties. Foreclosure law, processes, and timelines can be complex and challenging to navigate in Oklahoma. Understanding the key issues, timelines, and steps involved in mortgage foreclosure is crucial to being well-informed and protecting your position throughout a foreclosure action.

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Mortgages As Private Agreements

It is important to understand that mortgage agreements are private arrangements between the defined and specifically named parties to the agreement. This means that only the named parties have the right to enforce the agreement against each other, and only these parties can waive or delay their right to enforcement of the terms of the agreement. Each mortgage agreement can have separate and different terms than the last mortgage agreement between the same parties, so be sure that you carefully follow the rules and requirements contained within the terms of the specific mortgage at issue.

Top Issues with Mortgage Foreclosure: Lenders

  • Legal Requirements: Ensuring compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, as well as the status of each party under the terms of the contract, are essential to a successful foreclosure case.
  • Valuations: Determining the current market value of the property and severity of the borrower’s default are crucial for lenders. Accurate valuations help ensure that the lender can recover their investment.
  • Defenses: Anticipating and addressing a borrower’s possible defenses can be difficult, but is essential for a successful foreclosure process.
  • Delays: Foreclosure proceedings are often time-consuming, potentially delaying the lender’s ability to recover their funds. Lenders should not delay in pursuing foreclosure litigation.

Top Issues with Mortgage Foreclosure: Borrowers

  • Losing the Property: The most immediate concern for borrowers is the possibility of losing their property/home. Because the foreclosure process takes time, this is not always an urgent concern, but finding a replacement residence or business location is helpful.
  • Negotiation Opportunities: Borrowers facing foreclosure may have opportunities to negotiate with the lender, exploring options like loan extensions, loan modifications, amortization recasting, short sales, or deeds in lieu of foreclosure.
  • Credit Hit: Foreclosure can have a significant negative impact on a borrower’s credit score.

How Long Does Foreclosure Take in Oklahoma? Common Mortgage Foreclosure Steps:

  • Default: Pre-foreclosure efforts typically start when the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments or other terms and the lender provides written notice of the default to the borrower. This process can take a matter of days, weeks, or months, depending on the terms of the mortgage, type of default, and willingness of the lender to allow the borrower time to cure the default.
  • Acceleration: Most mortgage agreements contain an acceleration clause, allowing the lender to demand the full loan amount if the borrower defaults.
  • Preparing and Filing Mortgage Lawsuit in County District Court: Once the borrower is in default and has failed to cure the default, the lender may file a foreclosure lawsuit in the county district court where the property is located. This initiates the judicial foreclosure process and typically signals the end of the pre-foreclosure process and any opportunity for non-judicial foreclosure.
  • Service of Process on All Defendants: By Oklahoma law, the foreclosing party has 180 days to serve the defendant with notice of the lawsuit. Most lawsuits are served within a few days of filing the case and will not have the 180 day delay.
  • Court Timelines: The timeline for foreclosure cases in Oklahoma can vary by the issues and parties involved, but generally takes several months to complete. The specific timeline depends on factors such as court backlog, borrower defenses, and the lender’s willingness to work with the borrower. The typical Oklahoma foreclosure case takes between 4 and 12 months from initiation to post-sale confirmation.

Foreclosure Sale

After obtaining a court order to sell the property at a foreclosure sale, which is a public county sheriffs auction in every county in Oklahoma, the lender may schedule a foreclosure sale. Most sheriffs have a regularly scheduled auction date, depending on the needs of the county court. Foreclosure sales must be publicized in the county newspaper before the auction date.

Can I buy back my property after foreclosure?

Oklahoma law allows a redemption period for borrowers to reclaim their property after a foreclosure sale. The redemption period is typically only 30 days, but can be extended in certain cases. The right to redemption ends upon order of the court at a hearing specifically aimed at confirming the results of the foreclosure sale. The foreclosed owner has the right to occupy the property until the redemption period has ended. Some foreclosure sale buyers find themselves needing to evict the foreclosed owners.

Foreclosure Alternatives in Oklahoma

A few alternatives to foreclosure are available to lenders and borrowers, each with its own risks and benefits to the lender, borrower, and other parties if involved:

  • Loan extension
  • Loan modification
  • Amortization recast
  • Short sale
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Mortgage assistance programs
  • Bankruptcy
  • Subject-to sale
  • Loan assumption
  • Short refinance

To modify the terms of the original mortgage, both the lender and borrower must agree to all of the new terms of the foreclosure alternative. Without full agreement to new terms or a change in strategy, the original mortgage terms will continue to be binding on the parties.

Effect of Bankruptcy on Mortgage Foreclosure

Bankruptcy can have a significant impact on foreclosure proceedings. The enforcement of mortgage agreements is a matter of state law. By contrast, bankruptcy is a set of federal laws which includes an “automatic stay”, or a rule that requires all collections efforts against the bankrupt individual/company immediately freeze upon filing of the bankruptcy case. Borrowers facing foreclosure may explore bankruptcy options to temporarily halt the mortgage foreclosure process. Bankruptcy can delay a foreclosure, but often times cannot eliminate the risk of foreclosure.

Local Counsel for Mortgage Foreclosure

Many mortgage lenders from across the United States buy, sell, trade, assign, and assume mortgage loans. If you’re looking for local counsel to handle a foreclosure matter in Oklahoma, contact Avenue Legal Group.

Get Trusted Foreclosure Counsel

Mortgage foreclosure in Oklahoma is a multifaceted process with significant implications for both lenders and borrowers. Whether you’re a lender seeking to recover your investment or a borrower trying to protect your property ownership, it is essential to obtain experienced legal advice and representation.

Our team of trusted real estate attorneys helps clients navigate all aspects and phases of a foreclosure matter, from considering or negotiating pre-foreclosure modifications or sales, to representation throughout a foreclosure lawsuit. Contact Avenue Legal Group to discuss the best path forward in your mortgage situation.

Have a different type of property-based dispute? See our helpful information on other types of real estate disputes in Oklahoma here.



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